In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to reopen our occasional series of Essential Texts in Mormon Studies. Traditionally, posts in the series have asked commenters to suggest their top five books within some segment of Mormon studies. For this post, let’s discuss what might be the essential texts in Mormon feminism.
Here are my own top five:
Newell & Avery, Mormon Enigma (Illinois). Outstanding Emma biography, and in many ways a fascinating recasting of the restoration story through the eyes of a prominent woman.
Claudia Bushman, Mormon Sisters (Emmeline Press). A collection of essays exploring the roles and stories of nineteenth-century Mormon women in Utah.
Derr, Cannon, and Beecher, Women of Covenant (Deseret). The history of the Relief Society, and of the many women involved.
Hanks, Women and Authority (Signature). Provocative essays on a variety of topics, including Heavenly Mother and women and the priesthood.
Godfrey, Godfrey and Derr, Women’s Voices. (Deseret). Essays about women’s roles and stories in LDS history.
There are many other interesting books that didn’t make my top five; it was quite close, in some cases. Some of the other books on the topic include:
Burgess-Olsen, Sister Saints. (BYU Press). Biographical essays about a variety of women in early church history.
Beecher & Anderson, Sisters in Spirit (Illinois). Essays about Mormon women in Mormon culture, such as expectations of marriage, motherhood, and spirituality.
Compton, In Sacred Loneliness. (Signature). Biographies of Joseph Smith’s plural wives.
Bradley, Pedestals and Podiums. (Signature). Discussion of the Equal Rights Amendment movement and countermovement in Utah.
Pearson, Daughters of Light (Trilogy). Citations to early documentation of exercise women in the early church exercising spiritual gifts.
Bradford, Mormon Women Speak. (Olympus). Personal essays from a number of LDS women.
Madsen and Oman, Sisters and Little Saints (Deseret). History of the Primary.
Allred, God the Mother. (Signature). Collection of Allred’s essays on Heavenly Mother doctrine, September Six, and other topics.
Cannon, As a Woman Thinketh. (Bookcraft). Collection of short essays by LDS women on life and finding peace in the church.
Corcoran, Multiply and Replenish (Signature). Collection of essays about Mormon attitudes towards sexuality.
Van Waggoner, Mormon Polygamy: A History (Signature).
Beecher, The Personal Writings of Eliza Roxcy Snow (USU Press).
Beecher, Eliza and her Sisters. (Aspen). Collection of essays about Eliza R. Snow.
Arrington & Madsen, Mothers of the Prophets (Deseret). Biographical sketches.
Smith & Thatcher, Heroines of the Restoration (Bookcraft). Biographical sketches.
Okay, enough from me. What are your own favorite texts in Mormon feminism?